Pastors and lay leaders in the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted this week against a proposed change in the denomination’s constitution that would recognize same-sex marriage.
Meeting in Bristow, the presbytery voted 46 to 33, with one abstention, against the change that would no longer define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but as a “unique commitment between two people.”
The presbytery — 65 churches in the eastern third of Oklahoma — is one of 172 presbyteries voting on the change over the next several months, said the Rev. Greg Coulter, general presbyter.
In a surprise announcement during the debate before the vote, the Rev. Todd Freeman, pastor of College Hill Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, said for the first time publicly that he is gay.